MARK 11:22-24: “Jesus said to them, “Have faith in God! I can guarantee this truth: This is what will be done for someone who doesn’t doubt but believes what he says will happen: He can say to this mountain, ‘Be uprooted and thrown into the sea,’ and it will be done for him. That’s why I tell you to have faith that you have already received whatever you pray for, and it will be yours.” (GW)
OBSERVATION: What is the hardest mountain in life to move? We all face mountains in life that seem unsurpassable. There are times of financial need when we wonder where the money will come from. There are times of emotional need when it seems like we are completely out of strength. However, by the grace of God we somehow pull through. Yet, I have found one mountain in life that seems to remain even when others have been conquered. This is the mountain of unforgiveness. This is the mountain that Jesus is primarily speaking about as he calls his disciples to greater faith. In verse 25 we read…
- “Whenever you pray, forgive anything you have against anyone. Then your Father in heaven will forgive your failures.” (Mark 11:25 GW)
The withering of the fig tree represented the withering of Israel. Jesus had come to His own, and His own received Him not. They had leaves as if they were alive, but they did not bear any fruit. They were bound in their self-righteousness, and embittered with a spirit of unforgiveness. When confronted with true light and love, they responded with utter contempt and hatred. This is what Jesus encountered when He came to the Temple. This was the setting of His teaching regarding faith and the withered fig tree.
I believe we must be careful and examine our hearts today. Could the propensity to use this Scripture as a means to obtain what we want be an indication that our hearts are headed in the same direction as the hearts of those Jesus encountered in the Temple? Are we so concerned with the appearance of the outside of the cup that we are neglecting the inside of the cup? Are we rejoicing in the abundance of our “blessings”, all the while bound and embittered with a spirit of unforgiveness?
If I am honest and truly look at the condition of my heart I can see unforgiveness is always crouching at its’ door. It is the hurts of the past that continually try to creep in. It is the temptation to rehearse these wounds and water the garden of unforgiveness in my life. It is the reconstruction of the mountain that had been removed, one rock at a time. Before I know it, I am facing attitudes and feelings that are insurmountable. It is only when I humble myself before the Lord, and ask in faith, believing that which I ask for will be done, that the mountain of unforgiveness comes crumbling down!
How do I know the mountain has been removed? When I sense the flood of God’s mercy and forgiveness fill my heart I am assured that I have released this same flood by grace through faith. When I can think of those who have hurt me and be drawn to pray for their blessing and benefit, I know that the mountain has been removed. I do not have this ability within me, it requires a gift of faith from the Lord. This gift of faith is given to all who will call upon the Lord and in obedience to His call – forgive those who have sinned against us. This gift was rejected by the nation of Israel as a whole, but embraced by those who chose to believe. One person at a time, faith and freedom is given through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Lord, I do not want to live a life that is bound by bitterness and unforgiveness. When I am tempted to rehearse old hurts, let me rise up on faith and “speak to this mountain”! Let me proclaim forgiveness to those who have sinned against me and pray that they might find the joy of salvation through the goodness of God that leads to repentance. Let Your grace and forgiveness flood my heart so that I can walk in Your freedom and love!
In Jesus Name!